For a small-town person who for a long time had never stepped out of her home country, the concept of skyscrapers did not seem like that big a deal until the first trip to the US happened. I showed up to work with a sore neck on my first working day in the US, thanks to my walk the previous day which was mostly spent craning my neck, looking with amazement all the massive tall structures present everywhere in Times Square.
If I was awed by looking at them from the streets, imagine my excitement when I was told I would be working in one of those fancy buildings for the next month, that too from the 40th floor of one such beauty. The 30 Rockefeller plaza is a beautiful building, and given it houses my very first US office it is all the more special to me.
It was in 30 Rock I first learned to appreciate the advancements made in architecture by humankind, witnessing the city from the bird’s eye view, traveling up and down the super speed elevators and what not. And, it was through the windows here I witnessed my first snow fall.
It took me a while though to get used to the overwhelming feeling that used to envelope me every time I gazed outside the window. The architecture marvel that was presented in front of my eyes always managed to take my breath away. Specifically on one bright sunny day, when the Sun God decided to splash bright hues of golden yellow onto the clouds surrounding the Empire State, I happened to look out at the right moment and capture the elegance of that view on my phone camera.
If the day time view was spectacular for it’s golden elegance, the night time view made it appear as though different colored diamonds were scattered across the city, making the whole place sparkle and come alive.
The night views had me so entranced that when in Dallas, I took it on myself to note the difference between day time and night time appearance of the same view and shot two pictures from the same spot spaced between few hours. The slide show below would show how both the views are magnificent and glorious in their own way.
The other beautiful night time view I had the opportunity to witness was the one from the Miami office, where we reveled in the beauty of the different colored lights set at the backdrop of the endless blackness of the ocean.
My most favorite of all the night time views though, is that of Chicago downtown. At one point it did not help to have ready access to such views at a tilt of the head, given the project was quite stressful. These views, quite evidently, were a distraction from other important things at work- like finishing the deliverables in time. The worst part is, staying back to complete the work doesn’t help quicken the process by any means for we have to deal with the breathtaking beauty brought about by the mélange of shimmering lights.
If the artificial lights can look so beautiful from up top, imagine how the sunsets which naturally brings with it beautiful splashes of gold, orange and red would look from here. As expected the sunsets enticed me in an altogether different way, with the golden rays reflecting off of other skyscrapers in the vicinity making the whole city look like one magical kingdom.
While the night time views and the sunsets showcased the beauty of man made and natural wonders, there are some ordinary views I have captured from the offices which on a closer look did not seem ordinary at all.
Below is the view from the 44th floor of Houston office. Compared to the beautiful lights and buildings seen in views from other offices, this might seem quite underwhelming. But look a little closer and see if you can spot another architectural marvel made possible in the United States (Or just skip to the next pic on the slideshow to see what I am talking about 🙂 )
When I saw the different levels of the expressway, the main artery of the city, from up top, I was left wondering, “How is it even possible to have one road on top of another and then another and then another?” 6 levels in all!
If having so many levels in an expressway made my eyes go wide in wonder, the top view of Boston made me understand what being in a state of trance actually meant. At that moment, it seemed like I was truly in a dreamland where anything and everything is possible. Closely look into the below image and see if you can spot two levels of the city.
Yes, The city of Boston is made up of two levels, with many buildings having more than one ground level. My childhood dreams were made up of buildings like these with me running up the stairs to find roads outside every level, and at that moment I felt my dream come true.
The below picture of Chicago roads is yet another seemingly underwhelming picture. I agree it looks pretty in its own way with Lake Michigan on one side and the beautifully designed buildings on the other. But look a little closer and you will see it’s more than just pretty. It showcases the significance of what a good planning and design could accomplish.
The meticulousness of urban planning as witnessed by the evenness of the positioning of the buildings on the right is yet another outcome of architectural miracles made possible here. A straight line could be drawn if we trace the foot of those buildings. Isn’t that amazing?
Chicago, is a city full of wonders, I am sure I would have spotted more of them if I had lived here a little longer. But I am glad I was able to spot a bunch of them. One last beauty of Chicago that I captured has something to do with a signature sculpture of Chicago, The Bean! Yes, it is one of the beautiful things about Chicago. But the next image in the slide show would help you see it from a different perspective.
The Cloud Gate or more fondly the Bean, which is overwhelming with its perpetual glow from the ground, resembles a tiny mercury droplet when seen from up top. It helped me appreciate the inspiration of the design of the Bean as envisioned by Anish Kapoor himself. I was also humbled to see how tiny things become when seen from up top, even the mighty Bean which manages to entice every visitor to Chicago.
The next and last slideshow starts with a picture that is the most ordinary view of all, as it’s neither shot from a skyscraper nor does it have anything significant about it other than the conspicuous absence of everything in there. It’s just one white barren dessert, or that’s how it looked like for 4 long months. After which it sorta became unrecognisable, and that dear friends is exactly what I am talking about.
The photos, were shot from the similar spot from my office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, spaced between 4 months. In this short span of time, I saw the outsides convert from nothingness, marked by endless whiteness, to fullness of life marked by endless greenery. I couldn’t even make out the presence of the beautiful lake when I first shot this picture. This, to me is the best thing ever spotted outside the window.
The point I am trying to make here is that no matter how busy we are, when we make time to gaze outside the window, we could spot many a miracle that would otherwise go unnoticed. “Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you”, Wayne Dyer once said. I am glad I gave myself several such minutes, which inspired me to write this blog and share my discoveries with the larger audience.
To witnessing more such miracles and sharing them.